Ministry to explain solar mislabeling incident to EU
Economics Minister Deng Chenchung said Friday that the government will explain a recent solar energy product mislabeling incident to the European Union in a bid to avoid anti-dumping and antisubsidy tariffs likely to be imposed by the EU.
In May, the EU launched an investigation against Taiwanese and Malaysian solar panel exporters after Chinese exporters were accused of evading the levies by shipping solar panels to the European bloc through Taiwan and Malaysia.
One Taiwanese importer has been accused of importing solar panels from mainland China and then labeling the products as “made in Taiwan” before selling them to the EU for tariff evasion.
Answering questions raised by ruling Kuomintang lawmaker Yang Chiung-ying in a session of the Legislative Yuan, Deng said that Taiwan has never been involved in any illegal sales of solar energy products to the EU and the accused Taiwanese importer’s conduct was simply an isolated, unfortunate case.
Deng said that the government will provide the EU with evidence which will show most Taiwanese solar energy product exporters abide by international trade regulations, adding that the government will not allow such a black sheep to tarnish the reputation of Taiwanese exporters and hurt Taiwan’s exports.
Premier Mao Chi-kuo said in the same legislative session that the Taiwanese importer who mislabeled China-made solar energy products will face severe punishment, while the government will try its best to clarify the whole situation to the EU.
According to the Official Journal of the EU released in May, the German firm SolarWorld requested the investigation and presented the European Commission with sufficient evidence that Chinese solar panel exporters used Taiwan and Malaysia to skirt anti dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs and such practices have “undermined” the existing trade measures.
The SolarWorld-led trade group EU ProSun, has estimated that circumvention has cost the EU 500 million euros ( US$560 million) in lost customs revenue.
Since the probe was launched in May, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that the EU was scheduled to complete the investigation in nine months.